X, formerly known as Twitter, pledged this week that it will ensure access to “open, accurate, and safe political discourse” across its platform ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
But the announcement drew lukewarm to hostile reactions from several of its more political users.
“This has the foul odor of censorship, or worse. What the hell is ‘accurate political discourse’?” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., commented.
When Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, he touted himself as a “free speech absolutist” and promised users unfettered ability to express their thoughts, frequently comparing the platform to a public square.
That endeared him to many on the right while critics on the left accused him of making Twitter, now X, a more hostile place.
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But the Tesla billionaire has since backpedaled on that vow somewhat, including his concession that X had to comply with some government requests to remove content after the platform agreed to limit the reach of some accounts and posts at Turkey’s request. With the latest announcement, many of those who praised his original mission with its purchase are comparing him to the Big Tech giants they’ve criticized.
“Unacceptable. The Big Tech overlords at [X] don’t get to police the ‘free speech’ that they think Americans are allowed to hear. That doesn’t sound very free to me at all,” 2022 Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said.
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A post by X’s safety account said the platform “has a responsibility to put the right systems in place to ensure our communities have access to open, accurate, and safe political discourse.”
“That’s why we’re hiring more people, updating our policies, and evolving our product,” it added.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said, “Is this why, months after [Musk] bought the platform formerly known as Twitter, conservative (but otherwise non-offensive) comments still often carry a warning label?”
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Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called the message “a lot of words to describe censorship.”
But former CNN analyst Seth Abramson, who was critical of Musk’s ownership, said X would only continue to get worse.
“Twitter is unsafe. It is not going to be made safe because it costs too much and its owner is a racist, antisemitic, misogynistic, QAnonist Kremlinist who hates democracy and his employees. Twitter will only get worse and worse each day and we should all be packing up our things,” Abramson wrote on the platform.
Venture capitalist Stephen Fleming responded to the announcement, “Or – stick with me here – you could just turn off the algorithms, show a reverse chronological list of posts from accounts that we choose to follow, give us muting and blocking tools, enable community notes, and stay out of the way.”
X did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
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